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The State University of New York at FredoniaReed Library

Citing: Major Changes

Formatting & Word Choice

  • There are now specific guidelines for student papers included in the 7th edition. These are different from the guidelines for professional papers. Notably, student papers no longer require a running head.
  • When referring to people or entities, the 7th Edition guidelines call for bias-free language. 
    • Bias-free language is covered in Chapter 5 of the 7th edition.
    • APA Style expands upon these guidelines on their Bias-Free Language page.
    • APA endorses the use of "they" as a singular third-person pronoun. Read Welcome, Singular "They" from the APA Style Blog to learn more. 
  • There is only one space after a period in the body of the paper.

  • Heading font sizes have been changed for levels 3 through 5 to make them easier to read.

  • Previously, Times New Roman in 12pt size was the standard font for APA Style. The 7th edition now allows for Calibri size 11pt, Arial 11pt, Lucida Sans Unicode 10pt, and Georgia 11pt. The font just needs to be consistent throughout the paper.

  • There are now guidelines for annotated bibliographies.

In-Text & References

  • For works with three or more authors, only include the first author's name and "et al." Previously, only references with six or more would be shortened this way.
    Avoid: (Posthumus, Sinclair, Poplawski, 2018)
    Use:  (Posthumus et al., 2018)

  • You now must include up to 20 authors for the items in the reference list.

  • For journal articles, you always include the issue number.

  • The way to write digital object identifiers (DOIs) and URLs have been standardized.

    • Use live hyperlinks when using a DOI or URL if paper is to be published online.

    • Because a hyperlink leads readers directly to the content, it is not necessary to include the words “Retrieved from” or “Accessed from” before a DOI or URL. 

    • More information on DOIs and URLs can be found on the APA website.

  • Website name are included (unless it is the same as the author), and web page titles are italicized.

  • For ebooks, the format, platform, or device (e.g. iPad) are not included in the reference, though publisher is included.

  • Publication location is no longer included:                                                                    
    Avoid: Sagan, C. (1980). Cosmos. New York, NY: Random House. 
    Use: Sagan, C. (1980). Cosmos. Random House.

  • In addition to authors and editors, guidelines for including other contributors have been established (e.g. host of a podcast episode).


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